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Monday, November 12, 2007

UPDATED Life Kicks Me In The Ass Again (and again, but that's life)

Sometimes life just kicks you in the ass, but somehow one still tries to make the best of it.

After posting about my neighbor's death yesterday, I felt a little better. Michael (WHH=Way-Hot Husband) called me about 30 minutes after I posted, but he hadn't seen it yet. It's amazing to me that he called then. I love him for it even though he didn't know why I was sad until I told him. When I began to tell him what had happened, I wanted to cry, but it just wouldn't happen. I don't know why I'm like that.

An hour or two later though, I became nauseous and my heart pounded, and it wouldn't stop. I knew that it was anxiety, but knowing doesn't make that shit stop. I remembered that there were some Xanax in one of our medicine drawers and scrounged around to find them. I found them and broke one in half. It helped, a lot by alleviating the nausea, but most of all, the relentless pounding in my chest.

I Twittered, played Scrabulous, read blogs, but none of those things could make me feel better about myself -- the inadequacy that I felt and still feel. Each time I'm in our kitchen and dining room, I glance over to the pool and "see" what I saw yesterday, but this time I see myself doing what I should've done as soon as my instincts told me something wasn't right.

Why do we second-guess ourselves when our instincts say, "Get the fuck off your sorry ass and DO something?" Why is that?

The other thing that continued to do "summer re-runs" in my geeky brain was "Dead Man On The Highway".

That story begins with attending Alpha Primary's (Morristown, TN) Open House. Mrs. E was Patrick's 4th grade teacher. Patrick and Tony P. were the "best" boys in the class, so she let them do computer stuff most of the day, for the entire school year. Mrs. E. was his favorite teacher EVER... I digress, a lot. My brain is in overdrive.

After we left the school, we had to turn right onto 11E just west of the old Ingles. It was a beautiful early autumn evening in East Tennessee and the sun was a huge orange globe in the west. I turned right onto the highway and into the left lane because we would need to turn left onto Panther Creek Road at the stoplight (I think there was a stoplight then).

After I turned onto the highway there was a tan Nissan pickup truck, now you can't quote me on this because I don't do math OR measurements... but a "ways" in front of us. The boys were in the back seats of my stupid mom-van (gawd, I HATED driving a fucking "mom-van", and that one was just plain bad luck for us too because there's a whole 'nother story before this one!)

Anyway...I'm getting up to speed because its a 55 mph zone. It could be 45, but do you really know? I'm toolin' down the road, and that Nissan is WAY in front of me, but then it slows... slows.... way down and then I see...

A MAN stumbling and bumbling in the bed of that little tan Nissan pickup truck. The boys are in the back seat of this new bad-luck-Mom-van, and are actually not trying to kill each other when I scream, "Jeezuschrist!" (I never say that because, I just do not say that... except for that one time ((ok maybe a couple of other times, but please don't hold that against me)), and the boys immediately come to attention because that is a bad thing to say and only Dad says that!

And then we watch as the man in the back of that pick-up truck stumbles and bumbles himself head-first onto the pavement of 11E just in front of our "Bad-Luck-Mom-Van". That Bad-Luck van was so new I didn't know where the emergency flashers were. I stopped wayyyy behind the dead man on the highway. (I've already told you I don't do MATH so you'll have to picture it, kthx?)

I said a very quick prayer that mostly consisted of "Please, don't let my boys put this 'Bad-Luck-Mom-Van' into DRIVE?"

I found the flashers, put them on, and told my sons in the most scare-the-shit-out-of-your-kids kinda-voice I could muster "DO NOT get out of your seats. DO NOT try to touch anything up here. DO NOT LEAVE this vehicle. I mean it!"

Our sons tried just about everything over the years (between the two of them) that can be attempted by kids. I'm not exaggerating. They were a handful! That early autumn evening? They were perfect! I think that they saw the terror in my eyes when I stopped in the middle of the highway and ran up to try to help the "Dead Man On The Highway". They stayed in the "Bad-Luck-Mom-Van" just as I'd instructed them.

I don't know what I'm trying to say here, precisely. I suppose that I'm not as "special" as I think I am? I can't save people. I'm not an EMT, and really, if I were, I wouldn't have had the equipment to "save" either of these people.

This brings the tears on again, but ok, whaddya' gonna do, uh? (My fav Tony Soprano quote). Life can just suck sometimes. I can't "save" anyone no matter how prepared I try to be.

The lessons I learned from yesterday are that:

My husband WILL NOT swim alone again -- at least when I'm around. I know that I wouldn't be able to pull him from the pool, but I sure as hell could get his head above water and scream for some fucking help! Yes! That's the biggest one, and it really tears me up -- badly.

I also think it's a very good idea to make sure your "particulars" (that's what they're called here) are written down so that if you're all alone people trying to help can know who to call.

If you see another lesson in there, please let me know because my ass has been kicked hard AGAIN, and maybe I'm missing something.

Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts. It means a lot to me.

UPDATE: The drowning victim was revived and is currently comatose in ICU at Singapore General Hospital. Word is that she had a stroke as well as having blood clots in her leg. I can't imagine that the prognosis would be good because of the blood clot pressing on her brain and then drowning. I know she was without oxygen for at least 15 minutes.

I sometimes feel that the "miracles" of modern medicine aren't all their cracked up to be. I'll just tell the whole world right here and now, I do NOT want to be a Terry Schiavo. We both have Living Wills, do you have yours?


Curiosity.Killer said...

That's some serious traumatic experience that you've witnessed with your neighbor... of course it'll bring back all the past terrors. I'm so sorry --- you must be a bundle of nerves right now. Poor baby!

Relax a bit, call a friend... or email me with your number. Maybe I can call you and just chat a little, talk about the shitty air and lovely weather we're having...


ablondeblogger said...

Oh my gosh, Diana! I'm SO sorry for all you've gone and are going through. How scary and how awful!

It sounds to me like this has brought up post-traumatic stress syndrome symptoms in you. I can only imagine how traumatizing both experiences had to have been.

Can you see a counselor to help (I don't know if you're into that sort of thing...but I've had to do it a few times in my life).

I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, and sending you much love and hugs. I wish I could be there in person for you.


Shelli said...

You cannot blame yourself or second guess. You did what you could. In both situations. What the hell was the driver of the truck doing driving around with a man walking around in the bed of his truck?

Off topic...What is a tai-tai? I read your description, but I don't get it still. Am I dumb?

Shelli said...

Oops...Subscribing to comments. Don't mind me.

Geeky Tai-Tai said...

CK, BB, and Shelli... Thank you so much! I'm feeling much better today. I got a good night's sleep last night. I've had counseling before for something different, but it helped me through a bad time. If I start feeling depressed, I will definitely seek help.

Shelli... in answer to your question, that's why I so flabbergasted because that man wasn't in the truck before. He just "appeared".

It turned out that the man was attempting to cross the highway, but the woman driving the pick-up couldn't see him because he was wearing dark clothes. The impact catapulted him over the cab of her truck and then landed in the bed only to stumble out of it head-first onto the pavement. Later on, the police told me that he was intoxicated. That and the fact that the sun was setting, he probably didn't see the light tan truck. I guess this is one time the saying "he didn't know what hit him" was the truth!

No, Shelli, you are NOT DUMB! :D

Now, onto the definition of "Tai-tai":

"noun 1. A term used in Chinese circles for supreme wife (implying situation where a man is wealthy enough to have several "wives") but no longer strictly interpreted. Term now applies to citizens of the world with an Asian viewpoint who have bounds of time and money. A Tai Tai is a privileged lady of means. 2. Supreme of the Supreme is its literal translation. The term implies respect."

Officially, I don't qualify as a tai-tai seeing as how we're not jillionaires, I hate shopping, and I don't buy designer anything. I am fortunate in that I don't have to work while we're living here.

I'm still not great at Singlish, but I do understand it when locals call me a tai-tai just because I'm Caucasian. Whaddya' gonna' do, uh?

SJ said...

You're a tai-tai to me, Diana!!! In the best possible way.